"Tallahassee" is the sixth episode of Season Two of ABC's Once Upon a Time. It was written by Christine Boylan & Jane Espenson and directed by David M. Barrett. It is the twenty-eighth episode of the series overall, and premiered on November 4, 2012.
With the hopes of finding a magical compass that could help her and Mary Margaret get back to Storybrooke, Emma takes a journey with a not-too-trustworthy Captain Hook up a treacherous beanstalk in an attempt to steal the item from a murderous giant. Meanwhile, Emma’s past is revealed to be anything but magical when she meets up with a fellow thief who wants to make an honest woman out of her.
In the Enchanted Forest, Emma Swan, Hook, Mulan, Mary Margaret Blanchard, and Aurora arrive at the beanstalk which is the entrance to the realm of the giants. Hook tells the others that this beanstalk and giant are the last of their kind, and that they will have to climb the beanstalk to get the magic compass. The magic compass will guide them to Storybrooke. He says that Cora has the ashes from the Magic Wardrobe to open a portal but she will also need the magic compass to find her way to their land. After getting the magic compass, they will then have to steal the magic wardrobe's ashes from Cora to return to Storybrooke. He reveals to the four women that he possesses a counterspell from Cora that was originally intended to allow him and Cora to climb the beanstalk. Now that he has chosen to align himself with Emma and company, he can take one of them up the beanstalk with him to get the compass. Aurora volunteers because she has no one left in the world, Mulan volunteers because she is the best warrior of the group, and Mary Margaret wants to go as Emma is too new to this world. But Emma overrules them, stating she must do this for Henry. After Mary Margaret cuts Hook free from his bonds, he slaps a black cuff on Emma that glows gold briefly, and allows her to climb the beanstalk. Before she begins to climb, Emma takes Mulan aside, and asks her that if she and Hook are not back in ten hours, will she cut down the beanstalk with her sword. Mulan agrees, and then gives Emma a concoction of Ground Poppy Dust in order to put the Giant to sleep. Emma and Hook then begin their climb.
11 years prior, Emma is shown walking towards a seemingly empty yellow bug in an alley in Portland, Oregon. She checks around her to make sure that no one is watching her, then uses tools she has hidden in her bag and sleeve to break into the car. She is able to start it with a screwdriver and is very pleased with herself until a man pops up behind her, startling her. He tells her to keep driving and reveals that his name is Neal Cassidy. Emma reluctantly tells him her name before she runs a stop sign, causing a cop to pull them over. Neal is able to come up with a cover story that he was teaching Emma to drive stick shift. The cop buys it and lets them leave. Neal then moves to the front seat with a sigh and reveals to Emma that the car she is driving is not even his, and that he was trying to steal it himself.
On the beanstalk, Emma and Hook are making good progress while climbing the stalk. Hook then asks Emma about her past, to which Emma is reluctant to reply. Hook then tells her that she has a son, to which Emma replies that it is common knowledge. He then also says that Emma herself was an orphan, and that she does not want to leave Henry in that situation. Emma asks how he could possibly know that, and Hook states that while in Neverland, he spent time in the company of a group of orphans known as the Lost Boys, so he can easily recognize another orphan. He then asks if Emma has ever been in love, and she replies never.
Emma and Neal are in what appears to be a convenience store. Emma is faking being pregnant and Neal is asking the shop owner how to get to a certain place. The shop owner retorts that if Neal buys the map, he will show him how to use it. Neal buys the map while Emma continues to swipe stuff from the shelves of the store. As the shop owner is showing Neal which way to go, Neal slips some candy bars into his pocket just as a customer walks in. The customer tries to call Neal and Emma out, but Emma fakes going into labor, allowing Neal and Emma to get away with the robbery. After jumping into their car and kissing, they make their way to a motel where they enter an open room after a family leaves. Emma discovers a dreamcatcher they left behind, saying that it is a way to prevent nightmares. As she and Neal settle in, Neal suggests that the two of them leave their lives of crime behind them, and settle down somewhere. When Emma asks where, Neal takes a map of the United States off the wall and tells Emma that wherever she points, that that is where they will settle down. Emma closes her eyes and picks Tallahassee, to which Neal replies that Tallahassee is where they will start their new lives.
On the ground, Mulan draws a line in the sand intersected with other lines. She explains to Aurora and Mary Margaret that this is to keep time of the watch for each of them. Mary Margaret volunteers to take the first watch, and Mulan goes to sleep. Aurora remains behind though, and confides in Mary Margaret she is scared to go to sleep, as she has been experiencing intense nightmares since being woke from the Sleeping Curse. Mary Margaret comforts her, stating that she had the same experience and that in order to make her feel better, Prince Charming would light a candle to help her sleep and sooth her back to sleep. She tells Aurora to rest, telling her she will watch over her.
At the top of the beanstalk, Emma and Hook arrive in the realm of the giants. Emma asks why the place is so run down, and Hook asks her what she knows of giants. She tells him what she knows of the story of Jack and the Beanstalk. After hearing her brief synopsis, Hook states that while it is a good tale, it's not quite how it happened. He reveals that there was a man named Jack who led an invasion of the giants' realm, killing everyone but one giant. Emma then asks him about the tattoo on his arm for Milah, and Captain Hook mentions that it is in memory of someone he knew long ago. Emma guesses that Rumplestiltskin killed her and that's the reason Hook wants him dead and Hook replies to Emma saying as a woman claiming not to have fallen in love, she is perceptive in love. Emma acknowledges then that she may have been in love once.
In a park in Portland, Emma waits for Neal behind a tree with lunch. Neal however is a bit flustered, and shows Emma an arrest warrant for grand larceny with his name on it. He explains to Emma that this is a result of him stealing some watches a long time ago, and that the watches are stored in a locker in the bus station in Portland. He despairs of how he will get out of this, but Emma thinks up a plan, saying she will steal the watches herself so that no one will be looking for Neal. Neal protests, saying that he has to go to Canada so he will not get caught and he could not bear the thought of Emma being put in jail. Emma silences him by telling Neal she loves him and kisses him.
Emma then climbs up one of the statues outside the open door to the home of the giant, clutching Mulan's sleeping potion. Captain Hook then takes a human bone and uses it to pound on a massive metal shield to summon the Giant from his lair. The Giant then comes storming out and sees Captain Hook. Captain Hook then leads the Giant around towards Emma by taunting him. The Giant follows him and then Emma throws the potion in the Giant's face, knocking him unconscious. At first, Emma believes Hook to be smushed, but Captain Hook shows up and congratulates her on knocking the Giant out cold before proceeding inside.
On the ground, Aurora wakes up screaming from a nightmare. A concerned Mary Margaret rushes to her side while Mulan looks on. Aurora then tells Mary Margaret about her nightmare, stating that she was in a room that had no windows or doors and was covered in blood red curtains. A fire was in the room as well, and through the fire she could see a male figure on the other side of the room, watching her. Mary Margaret calms her down and states that it was just a dream and to go back to sleep. Aurora reluctantly does this, laying her head in Mary Margaret's lap. Mary Margaret states she will watch over her, as she has no one else to watch over at the moment.
In the Giant's home on top of the beanstalk, Hook and Emma wander through the place, Emma looking for the magical compass while Hook seems to have more of an eye on the treasure all around him. Emma states for Hook to pay attention and that she needs the compass. Hook tucks a golden coin in his belt and then walks past Emma, stating all they need is right in front of them.
In Portland, Emma goes to the locker indicated by Neal and opens it, taking it out of the locker and easily slipping by the cops.
Back in the Giant's lair, Emma and Hook stumble across the skeleton of Jack the Giant Killer. All that remains is his bones, a few tattered bits of cloth, and a large sword with Jack's name inscribed on it. As Hook prepares to search further, Emma grabs a hold of him to save him for tripping over a tripwire. Hook takes this as a sign of affection from Emma, which she refutes immediately. The two then resume the search for the compass.
Back in Portland, Emma joins Neal in their yellow bug and the two celebrate their victory by kissing. Neal then states that he will go and pawn the watches to get the money that the two of them will need to start their new lives in Tallahassee. He gives Emma one of the stolen watches and states that she should meet him at the parking structure on the train tracks at 9:00. Neal takes off, but is pursued by a shadowy figure into a back alley, and it turns out to be August Booth. August informs Neal that he is Emma's guardian and has been looking for her for the last two years and Neal states that he has been doing a bang up job for the trouble Emma has been in. August retorts that Emma should not be drawn into Neal's life of crime, and that if he loves her, he will let her go and achieve a great destiny. Neal refuses to listen, until August opens up the wooden box on the back of his motorcycle and shows him an object on the inside. Neal then listens to August. Emma is shown waiting for Neal wearing the watch when a cop shows up out of nowhere with a gun pointed at her. He informs Emma that Neal betrayed her and called in a tip on her. He asks for the other stolen watches, but Emma states she does not have them. She is cuffed and led away in disbelief.
Back in the Giant's lair, Emma believes she sees the compass on top of a golden bird cage. She asks Hook to give her a boost, to Captain Hook retorts he should be the one being boosted. He asks Emma to trust him. Emma remains silent for a few moments before they hear the sound of the Giant pounding up behind them. Roaring in fury, he storms towards them, and his movements loosen stones from the ceiling and seemingly crush Hook beneath them.
A few months after the events in Portland, August meets with Neal on the outskirts of Vancouver. Neal drives up in the bug and asks August how Emma is. August reveals to him that Emma was sentenced to 11 months in a minimum security prison in Phoenix, Arizona. Neal becomes distraught and demands to know more, but August reminds him of the deal they made months earlier. Neal then gives August the keys to the bug and a stack of money, saying that he will rest better if he knows Emma is cared for. August reluctantly agrees to his request and says he will send a postcard to him when Emma fulfills her destiny.
The Giant lunges towards Emma and grabs her in his hand, and proceeds to being to squeeze the life out of her. Emma pleads with him that she needs the compass to get back to her son, but the Giant does not heed her. Almost out of breath, Emma bites the Giant's hand causing her to be dropped. Catching her breath, she runs away and grabs Jack's sword laying nearby. She cuts the rope holding a large iron trap and it falls on top of the Giant, seemingly trapping him. Menacing him with the poisoned sword, she demands the compass. The Giant reluctantly gives it to her, stating that she is going to kill him anyway and that all humans are alike. Emma states that they are not all alike and walks away. The Giant then breaks out of the trap and runs towards Emma. But rather than grab her again, he reveals a secret exit from his lair, saying that he owes Emma a favor for not killing him. Emma then states that the Giant actually owes her two favors since she could have killed him while he was unconscious. The Giant agrees. Emma then goes to Hook, pulls him out from under the rocks and shows him the magical compass. Hook reaches for it, but Emma tucks it back into her coat pocket. Then she clamps a manacle on Hook, stating that she cannot fully trust him. She turns and leaves as Hook roars at her for her to come back and free him.
On the ground, Mulan observes that it has been ten hours since Emma climbed the stalk. Reluctantly she unsheathes her sword and goes to work on the beanstalk, swinging her sword and shaking the beanstalk to its core. An enraged Mary Margaret lunges at Mulan and demands to know what she is doing. Mulan gasps out that it was Emma's wish for the beanstalk to be cut down if she was not back in ten hours. Emma then jumps to the ground with the compass in her hand. Aurora then asks about Hook, to which Emma responds he is fine but that he is a bit held up. Mulan and Aurora make ready to break camp while Mary Margaret hugs her daughter close and scolds her for telling Mulan to cut down the beanstalk.
In the Phoenix jail, Emma is sitting when a prison guard comes in with a small yellow envelope for her. She tells Emma it was sent to her from Phuket. The prison guard opens it and reveals the keys to the bug, stating that Emma now has a car in addition to a baby when she gets out of jail. Emma is then shown holding a positive pregnancy test in her hand.
In Storybooke, a screaming Henry wakes up, causing David Nolan to come running. David lights a candle for Henry, and then Henry describes having a nightmare extremely similar to the one had by Princess Aurora in the Enchanted Forest, except that he sees a female figure looking back at him and not a male one. David comforts him and says it was just a bad dream.
- The title card features a growing beanstalk.
- The title of this episode was announced by Adam Horowitz via his Twitter account on September 22, 2012.
- Neal and Emma stay at a motel called the Red Lantern Lodge.
- Hook's tattoo shows the Dark One's Dagger going through a heart.
- During the shooting of the scene Emma bites the Giant's finger, it was filmed with a green screen stage while Jennifer Morrison had to bite an inflated inner tube. From the whole day on set doing that scene, her lips became bruised.
- This episode reveals the identity of Henry's father. However, Jennifer Morrison had known his identity since the first episode because it was important towards developing her character.
- The Land Without Magic flashbacks take place in the year 2001, after "Lily" and Emma's stay with Ingrid in "Shattered Sight," and several months before "The Heart of the Truest Believer." In addition, the scene where Emma meets Neal takes place on the same day as their first date "There's No Place Like Home." The rest of the flashbacks take place after their date. This episode also takes place in the same year as Ingrid's arrival in Storybrooke in "Shattered Sight". (For more details, see the Land Without Magic timeline)
- The present day events in Storybrooke and the Enchanted Forest in this episode occur after those seen in "The Doctor" and before the events of "Child of the Moon." (For more details, see the Enchanted Forest timeline)
- Neal startles Emma by popping up from the backseat of her car, just like Henry did in "The Price of Gold." Neal does the same thing again in "Souls of the Departed."
- Emma and Neal have the drink Neal is talking about, in "There's No Place Like Home."
- The swan keychain/necklace that Neal gives Emma was first featured in "The Price of Gold."
- Emma returns the necklace to Neal in "Manhattan", and he gives it back to her in "Quiet Minds."
- The story of Jack and the Giant on the beanstalk are explored in "Tiny."
- The dream catcher that Emma finds, was first seen in Neal's apartment in "Broken."
- Neal refers to the dreamcatcher as "flypaper for nightmares." Emma repeats this line when she finds the dreamcatcher in Neal's apartment in "New York City Serenade."
- The contents of August's box are identified in "Manhattan."
- Emma and Neal are reunited in "Manhattan."
- August's promise to Neal is mentioned in "Manhattan" and was fulfilled in "Broken".
- August's stay in Phuket was first referred to in "The Stranger," and is shown in "Selfless, Brave and True."
- This episode reveals the identity of Henry's father, something that was previously brought up in "True North ."
- Henry meets his father in "Manhattan."
- Emma gives birth to her child in "The Heart of the Truest Believer".
- Hook finds himself chained down by Emma again in "In the Name of the Brother," "New York City Serenade" and "Birth."
Fairytales and Folklore
- This episode is a rendition of the Jack and the Beanstalk folktale, focusing on the giants.
- This episode features Mulan from the Mulan legend, Princess Aurora from the Sleeping Beauty fairytale as well as Captain Hook from the Peter Pan story.
- The Ground Poppy Dust is used to knock out a giant, which is a sleeping powder originated from poppy seeds also present in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.
- Neal says to Emma, "Maybe it's time we retire the Bonnie and Clyde act". Bonnie and Clyde were famous outlaws and robbers who traveled the central United States with their gang during the Great Depression. Their effect on pop culture would last for decades beyond their demise.
- The giant statues by the entrance to Anton's castle look like the Terracotta Warriors.
- Several versions of the beanstalk were used on set. For climbing, a real set piece was created. For on-screen purposes, the leafy flourishes were made by the Art Department and enhanced by CGI to give the appearance of a long spiraling stalk extending to the sky.
- A sailing ship is pictured on the American map that Neal shows to Emma.
- To keep track of time, Mulan uses a shadow stick, a simple sundial in the form of a vertical, straight, object that casts a shadow. The shadow cast from a shadow stick may be used to observe the apparent motions of the Sun throughout the day. Shadow sticks have been used for thousands of years; however, they are not as accurate as a regular sundial.
- One of the enormous shields left in the courtyard (the one that Captain Hook bangs on with a bone to lure out the giant), where the "final battle" took place, has a ship rudder embossed on it.
- Neal's wanted poster reads:
- The license plate number on Emma's stolen car is E83 KAE.
- The Portland convenience store name keychains also appear in Storybrooke's Dark Star Pharmacy in "True North" and "Skin Deep".
- There is a heart-shaped pirate keychain next to the swan keychain that Neal steals for Emma.
- The paintings in Emma and Neal's motel room are Waterlilies by Canadian artist Philip Craig and Morning Creekside by American artist Megan Lightell.
- The Portland scenes were filmed in Vancouver, British Columbia, where production for Once Upon a Time is based.
- The scene where Emma is driving down the street and Neal pops up in the backseat, was filmed at 700 Block, East Hastings Street.
- The T-Rex Urban Food & Coffee Bar doubles as the Pay-Rite Market, where Emma and Neal shoplift.
- The City Centre Motor Hotel doubles as the Red Lantern Lodge, the motel where Emma and Neal stay. This hotel has also been featured in the iZombie episode "Dead Rat, Live Rat, Brown Rat, White Rat", and the Fairly Legal episode "The Two Richards".
- Thornton Park doubles as the park where Emma meets up with Neal.
- The Pacific Central Station doubles as the Portland Union Station. This location has been featured in several movies and TV shows.
- The scene where Emma meets up with Neal as she returns with the stolen watches, was filmed at National Avenue & Station Street.
- The scene where Emma is arrested, was filmed in the parking garage under Granville Plaza.
- The scene where Neal meets up with August in Vancouver two months later, was filmed at Vancouver Harbour Heliport. This is the only Once Upon a Time scene to actually take place in the city where production for the show is based. Vancouver Harbour Heliport has also been featured in the Arrow episode "Nanda Parbat".
|Finnish||"Emma ja pavunvarsi"||"Emma and the Beanstalk"|
|German||"Der Traum von Tallahassee"||"The Dream of Tallahassee"|